I realized when I was laying in bed last night that I never wrote a blog! Oh, well. I'm catching up today. Not much to write about yesterday anyways. I ended up going on a walk, and sort of getting lost with Charlie, while we found a dumpling restaurant that has a menu in English. It was phenomenal. AND, it cost me all of $1.50 for dumplings and soup. Yummy.
This morning, I woke up and got to talk with Chris on the phone. Not for long though, because I had a day out with Charlie and Jim. We went to the Suzhou Silk Factory and it was so fun. We somehow accidentally found the one woman there that spoke English, and she took us on a tour of the embroidery areas, and explained how they do it. The Master Embroiderers have worked on this for decades, and the work they make is amazing. People in Suzhou are famous for their embroidered cats and fish. What they do is take a thread of silk, about the size of regular thread, and they use their hands to make it into 48 pieces. Meaning, they cut it in half however many times. In thickness, not length. So they end up with *super* fine pieces of thread to use in the embroidery. It looks like paintings. No kidding. I bought an embroidered picture, goldfish, that was done by an apprentice. I also got a coin purse that's embroidered silk, and something for my aunt and uncle for Christmas. I can't say it on here, because they read this and I want it to be a surprise :-)
After, Charlie and I went to Guan Qian, which is a pretty great shopping area. Charlie went to look for Christmas gifts for his son, but ended up getting his wife more jewelry :-) it's pretty funny. He can't stop buying her jewelry! She's going to love him taking this trip. I got something for mom, something for Chris, and a bunch of tea stuff for me. Some ceramic canisters for fresh tea, and a bit (well, a bunch) of loose-leaf tea. Some jasmine tea and some special Suzhou green tea. The only place that this tea grows is on a tiny island in Suzhou, and I had some at dinner with the VP. It's good. I tried asking them for a tea ball, that stainless mesh thing to put tea in, but wasn't too concerned because I have one at home. I did end up with a glass mug that has a sort of built-in filter so you can put the loose tea in it with hot water and drink it is all. Oh, I found a donut store called Sweety Donuts. They had flavors like seaweed, fish, and "fluffy hot". It was a little scary. I got a few, just some normal flavors like strawberry and chocolate. The chocolate isn't as sweet as I'm used to. And after a while, they start to smell funny though. Not sure why.
Then we came back to the hotel, where I sat down with a movie. Which movie, you ask? Well, a little flick called… um… what was it? Oh, yeah. 2012. What? You say that's not out on DVD yet? Hahaha—I'm in China and we don't have rules about that stuff. I have a bunch more movies also, because Tyler left them with me when he left yesterday. I love it.
I've included some pictures again. Mostly the silk factory, people working, the gardens there, and me in front of some Christmas decorations. Enjoy!